Sunday, 1 September 2013

The end of a wonderful day - ended wonderfully

Can only really be closed with a debriefing session with God - so here it is:

O God, make speed to save us. O Lord, make haste to help us.

Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
you that by night stand in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary and bless the Lord.
The Lord who made heaven and earth give you blessing out of Zion.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

A period of silence is observed

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us to cleanse our hearts
and set us free to sing your praise now and for ever. Amen.

Psalm 119.81-96
Give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
My soul is pining for your salvation; I have hoped in your word.
My eyes fail with watching for your word, while I say, ‘O when will you comfort me?’
I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I do not forget your statutes.
How many are the days of your servant?
When will you bring judgement on those who persecute me?
The proud have dug pits for me in defiance of your law.
All your commandments are true; help me, for they persecute me with falsehood.
They had almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken your commandments.
Give me life according to your loving-kindness; so shall I keep the testimonies of your mouth.
O Lord, your word is everlasting; it ever stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness also remains from one generation to another;
you have established the earth and it abides.
So also your judgements stand firm this day, for all things are your servants.
If your law had not been my delight, I should have perished in my trouble.
I will never forget your commandments, for by them you have given me life.
I am yours, O save me!
For I have sought your commandments.
The wicked have waited for me to destroy me, but I will meditate on your testimonies.
I have seen an end of all perfection, but your commandment knows no bounds.
Give me life, O Lord, according to your word.

Lord Christ, as we sit at your feet, teach us your living way;
for you are our Word and Wisdom,
one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Isaiah 33.13-22
Hear, you who are far away, what I have done;
   and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
The sinners in Zion are afraid;
   trembling has seized the godless:
‘Who among us can live with the devouring fire?
   Who among us can live with everlasting flames?’
Those who walk righteously and speak uprightly,
   who despise the gain of oppression,
who wave away a bribe instead of accepting it,
   who stop their ears from hearing of bloodshed
   and shut their eyes from looking on evil,
they will live on the heights;
   their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks;
   their food will be supplied, their water assured.

Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;
   they will behold a land that stretches far away.
Your mind will muse on the terror:
   ‘Where is the one who counted?
   Where is the one who weighed the tribute?
   Where is the one who counted the towers?’
No longer will you see the insolent people,
   the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,
   stammering in a language that you cannot understand.
Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals!
   Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
   a quiet habitation, an immovable tent,
whose stakes will never be pulled up,
   and none of whose ropes will be broken.
But there the Lord in majesty will be for us
   a place of broad rivers and streams,
where no galley with oars can go,
   nor stately ship can pass.
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,
   the Lord is our king; he will save us.

John 3.22-36
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptised. John also was baptising at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptised—John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.

Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptising, and all are going to him.’ John answered, ‘No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, “I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.” He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.’
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.

The Magnificat 
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him, from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, to remember his promise of mercy,
The promise made to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.

Time to think of the challenges, blessings, opportunities of the day

The Collect
Almighty God,
whose only Son has opened for us a new and living way into your presence:
give us pure hearts and steadfast wills to worship you in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

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